Assistance for Family Caregivers of Veterans

Joyce B. Robinson

November 15, 2023

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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) offers support for caregivers of eligible veterans. The changes in PCAFC Improvements and Amendments, under the VA Mission Act of 2018, became effective in October 2020.

Veteran Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, the veteran must have a serious injury, which is a single or combined service-connected disability rating of 70 percent or more, and meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the program. Eligibility requirements include: veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury or serious illness in the line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service on or after Sept. 11, 2001, or on or before May 7, 1975, and/or veterans in need of in-person personal care services for a minimum of six continuous months based on either an inability to perform an activity of daily living, or a need for supervision, protection, or instruction.

Family Caregiver Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible as a Family Caregiver you must be: 18 years of age or older; either the eligible veteran’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, step family member, an extended family member, or someone who lives with the eligible veteran full-time, or will do so if designated as a Family Caregiver; assessed by the VA as being able to complete caregiver education and training and demonstrate the ability to carry out the specific personal care services, core competencies, and additional care requirements. In addition, there must be no determination by VA of abuse or neglect of the eligible veteran by the caregiver.

Payments for the Caregiver

Eligible Primary Family Caregivers may qualify to receive a monthly payment if the veteran meets the eligibility requirements determined by the VA based on the following:

  • Unable to perform Activity of Daily Living – An eligible veteran must either require personal care services when they perform Activity of Daily Living (ADL) or need supervision, protection, or instruction on a continuous basis. ADL includes:
  • Bathing, grooming, and/or dressing or undressing themselves;
  • Adjusting any special prosthetic or orthopedic appliance, that by reason of the disability cannot be done without assistance (this does not include the adjustment of belts, lacing of shoes, etc.);
  • Attending to bathroom needs;
  • Feeding themselves due to loss of coordination of upper extremities, and/or;
  • Mobility problems (walking, going up stairs, transferring from bed to chair, etc.);
  • A need for supervision, protection, or instruction – The veteran or service member has a functional impairment that directly impacts their ability to maintain their personal safety daily.

The APWU thanks all our veterans who put their lives on the line for our safety! Find additional information by contacting a Caregiver Support Coordinator at: (855) 260-3274 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10: 00 p.m. EST or Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST) or by visiting

As this is the department’s last article of 2023, I extend my best wishes to you and your loved ones for a happy holiday season and a New Year filled with peace, good health, and happiness. Thanks for your membership and your support! ■

The text in this article is from the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

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